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Kathy Scourby

Kathy Scourby

Our Athlete of the Week this week is Kathy Scourby! Kathy has completed 9 marathons and countless triathlons. Just a few weeks ago, Kathy completed her third world championship. Keep reading to learn more about Kathy and her story.

How long have you been coached by Endorphin Fitness? “I think I started with Ryan Middleton in early 2015 (but it may have been 2014).  Ryan will know.”

What made you decide to join EF? “I was looking for a running coach and had talked to other peers and athletes who had used Endorphin coaches and decided to give it a try. I can’t say enough good things about Ryan. He has boosted my confidence in so many ways and helped me become a much better runner. I can’t imagine working with a different coach.”

Tell me a little bit about your fitness / triathlon journey from start to finish. “I started running at age 21 and over the next 15 years completed 9 marathons and many ½ marathons and shorter distance races. I qualified and ran the Boston marathon twice. I bought a bike when I turned 40 and started triathlons in 1999 when I was 41. I loved to swim, bike and run so putting them all together was fun for me. Over the years I have done countless triathlons in many cities around the country. I love the challenges of triathlons and the great satisfaction of staying fit enough to do well in triathlons. In 2011 I lived in Knoxville, TN and was being coached by someone who was also my boyfriend. He had done well over the years in triathlons and duathlons and had competed in several World Duathlon championships in the early 2000’s. He looked at my running and triathlon finish times and convinced me that I could compete in the USAT National championships and do well enough to qualify for the World championships. Our goal was to train together for the 2012 USAT Nationals in Tucson, AZ and qualify for the DU World’s in France. Tragically, he passed away very suddenly two months prior to the Nationals. To keep his spirit alive, I went on to the Nationals and did qualify to race in Nancy, France in September, 2012. I know that he was proud of me that year and I have been motivated to continue racing both triathlons and duathlons ever since.”

How has Endorphin Fitness taught you to be more? “I’ve had my share of adversity and difficult times over the last 5 years and I floundered some with my training and racing when I had to move back to Richmond at the end of 2012 because of my job and had to deal with work and personal stress and long working hours. Signing on with Endorphin and starting to work with Ryan honestly gave me a purpose again. I clearly needed someone in my racing life to continue to motivate me and support and believe in me. Ryan as a coach, through Endorphin Fitness, has done all that for me. He has been a constant in my training life and I am ever grateful to him for helping me to believe in myself. I would never have believed that I could get faster in my running again – at my age (just about to age up to 60-64 age group), but Ryan has always had faith in me and I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish.”

Which race distances have you done and what is your favorite? “I have completed 9 marathons and countless triathlons. I have completed everything from Super Sprints all the way to half Ironmen. I have done two 70.3 races (back in 2005 and 2007). I used to think that Olympic distance tri’s were my favorite, but I now think Sprint distance tri’s and Du’s are my new favorite races.”

What are your main goals this season? “My main goal was to maintain my running and cycling and to try to get better in both so that I could compete at a national and world level in both the USAT National Duathlon championships in Bend, Oregon in June and then compete in the World Duathlon championships in Penticton, British Columbia in August. I did well enough at the USAT Nationals to qualify for the 2018 Worlds in Denmark!”

How has your season gone this far this year? “I have completed 5 duathlons and 4 triathlons this season including the National and World Duathlon championships. I have had a good season with age group awards in all of the races except for the first tri of the season (with the exception of the Nationals and Worlds – I was 6th place in the Nationals and 16th place in the Worlds). I also got 2nd overall female in a duathlon in PA in early June, 3rd overall female in a triathlon in VA (last week), and 1st overall Grandmasters in a triathlon in TN in early July. It probably has something to do with the fact that I retired from working in a very large international law firm after 33 years and eliminated crazy work stress out of my life!  It has been a great spring and summer.”

Tell me about your favorite and least favorite race experience. “Least favorite race experience was a sprint tri down in Orange Beach, Alabama back in 2009.  When I arrived at transition, it was still early morning and dark out. There were two women crying in the transition area. When I asked what was wrong, they just pointed to the water. I walked to the water and saw all the red flags and the waves and surf. The race started on the beach and everyone lined up by number.  They came close to cancelling the swim portion but finally let it go forward – thank goodness, I grew up swimming in surf, because I literally had to battle waves and surf to try to swim to a buoy and back. You could not even describe the swim portion as swimming – it was more like plowing through water to just survive. Once I got out of the water, the bike and run part were a piece of cake. I was amazed to end up with an age group award for that race!!”

“Favorite race experience – although it was terrifying to me to compete at a world level, probably my first Du Worlds in 2012 in Nancy, France. The setting for the race was amazing – an old historic city.  I felt like I was running in medieval times and although the bike course was very technical with lots of cornering and I had to be cautious, it was really fun to be a part of racing with athletes from all over the world. To be a part of Team USA and knowing that you are representing the USA is awesome and the support of everyone cheering on the athletes and calling out my name was very motivating. I was so proud to finish that race and it will always stick out as one of my very favorite races.”

What is your favorite part about triathlon? “I used to think that I loved to run and that was my favorite part of the race, but lately, it is all about the bike.  I have pushed myself to get faster on my bike and love the feeling when I have a good fast bike leg.  I also love to swim – and much prefer open water tri’s.”

Greatest advice to beginners? “Whether it is a duathlon or triathlon, remember to only focus on each leg at a time. Don’t let yourself get ahead of yourself. Savor the finish of each leg and make that the motivator for the next leg. Also – when I race at the Worlds (I have now done 3), I dedicate each leg of the race to someone special or a group of people who are special in my life. It really makes me feel good once I complete that leg and ultimately the race!  At my recent World’s in Penticton, I dedicated the first run to the son of someone close to me who is battling cancer. I felt like I kicked butt in the first 10k leg  of the race and felt like I was helping this person kick cancer’s butt.  I dedicated my bike leg of the race to all my family and friends who have been so supportive of my journey to compete at a world level. And I dedicated my final run leg to my coach Ryan and to myself for his support of me and for my dedication with all the training.”

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